ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The average fuel economy for new vehicles sold in June dropped to 25.3 mpg, according to researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
According to UMTRI, the June decline in fuel economy "likely reflects the increased market share of pickup trucks and SUVs."
The June average is up 0.1 mpg from last month and 0.5 mpg less than the peak reached in August 2014, but still 5.2 mpg better than October 2007 when the researchers first began compiling data.
The most recent UMTRI Eco-Driving Index stands at 0.85, indicating that the average new vehicle produces 15 percent lower emissions than in October 2007, although that number is seven percent higher than the record low reached in August 2014.
To arrive at its figures, UMTRI calculates average sales-weighted fuel economy from the monthly sales of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans and pickups) and the combined city/highway fuel economy ratings that appear in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide and on vehicle window stickers.
As recently reported by Edmunds, the 2017 Ford Escape and 2016 Jeep Renegade were sales leaders last month as buyers continued to snap up SUVS, pickups and crossovers, due in part to relatively low fuel prices.
According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline nationwide was $2.26 on Wednesday, down from $2.76 a year ago at this time.
In fact, AAA reports that fuel prices over the Fourth of July weekend reached their lowest point in more than a decade, a result of continued abundant supply, particularly from Canada and the OPEC countries.
Edmunds says: Utility vehicles meet the needs of a wide range of consumers, and as long as fuel prices remain stable, their sales will likely remain strong throughout the summer.